Tag Archives: contraptions

The Woman who was Not

There was a woman who mutilated history. She did it by building a time machine in order to punish an unfaithful lover. It isn’t clear whether said companion was a man or a woman, for she or he, having never been born, is not available for questioning. That person, in fact, cannot be found anywhere and anywhen in history, or creation, or the universe, whichever way you prefer to call that phenomena.

Being thus erased, one might correctly assume, can hardly be considered a punishment at all, since there’s no punishable object. Notice how the words “any longer” were cunningly avoided here, as said object has never existed in the first place.

The woman who, also cunningly, built the time machine and removed her unfaithful lover from insert-preferred-phenomena-here, should have realised all this before executing her, well, cunning, plan, and indeed would have done so, were she not so taken with the blinding rage which caused her to build the time machine in the first place. She would have realised it soon enough afterwards – a somewhat inaccurate word, in this case – were it not for her action promptly – also inaccurate – erasing herself from the preferred-phenomena, and then – also inaccurate – the phenomena itself, which was replaced – also etc. – with something completely different in which we – etc. – live – etc. – right now – etc. – and know nothing whatsoever of women or men or time or rage or love.



“While it is quite easy to teleport all the atoms of a person from point A to point B without passing any point in between,” he said, raising his wine glass, “it is also quite easy to understand that the person of point A is now dead, and that the person in point B is merely a copy.”

“True, true,” I said. He was very beautiful. I knew he was hoping to get me to invest in his research.

“However,” he said, “we found a loophole in teleportation mechanics. We’ve solved the problem.” He probably knew I was hoping to get him into bed.

“In fact it’s not teleportation at all, but rather place-switching. Put a person at point A and another one at point B and, using reality-frame manipulation, make them switch places.”

“So you can’t send anyone to a place no one has gone to before,” I said, knowing full well that my looks, despite being the result of a horrendous amount of money, can play only a limited part when the desires of such a scientist are concerned.

“Indeed. Still, it’s a very effective way to travel. For instance, I’ve just traveled two thousand miles in order to meet you.”

“Wasn’t difficult to find someone who’ll trade places with you?”

“Oh, no,” he said. “I just asked a favor from my husband.”

“Ah,” I said, and halted. I desperately wanted to know whether he was originally a man or a woman, but didn’t dare ask. I had to find something else to say. “So in fact you don’t even switch places, you just make people think they’ve switched places.”

He smiled. “That’s mere terminology.”

In the end he got what he hoped for. So did I. He never found out that I was actually remote controlled. That’s real teleportation for you.